Facebook has begun auto-tagging of photos so that users do not have to manually select their friends when they upload photos for tagging. As soon as you post the photos, Facebook will automatically know them and immediately tag them accordingly.
Every day, people add more than 100 million tags to photos on Facebook. They do it because it’s an easy way to share photos and memories. Unlike photos that get forgotten in a camera or an unshared album, tagged photos help you and your friends relive everything from that life-altering skydiving trip to a birthday dinner where the laughter never stopped. Tags make photos one of the most popular features on Facebook.
The goal is that as more users easily tag people, the level of activity in the site will increase. Easy tagging, more photo sharing!
In the same vein, European Union regulators said they will investigate the facial recognition technology which Facebook employs to do this auto-tagging and other products in the site. They maintained that users are not asked for permission before they are lumped into the technology.
A U.S. privacy group has also asked the United States Federal Trade Commission to investigate the matter as well.
What happens is that when users upload photos, Facebook technology, Tag Suggestions, automatically analyzes the photo database and then suggest names for the tagging of the photos. The regulators are insisting that Facebook must seek for prior consent while Facebook noted that anyone can easily opt out.
Facebook is a behemoth where 100 million tags are done daily.
The use of facial recognition technology has been employed in different fields, including security and policing. Facebook is just bringing this to the social media network. Facebook perhaps could be using the iris recognition and the prior names people have given for each person in their database to do this.
It is harmless simply on the bases that anyone posting anything online should not have any illusion of privacy. The regulators can do what they want as they need to justify their jobs, but the people using Facebook may not really care for the efforts they are putting. Technology should not be trumped on the altar of privacy and in this case, this technology can even help law enforcement. Just get a photo of a criminal, put it in Facebook and it could help you develop a footprint especially if the person is working with different names.
Our world is such that anything you do outside your home could appear online – it could be satellite images of Google trying to map the world or a neighbor filming you. All we need to do is simple: do not do anything that seeing online will embarrass you because the world of privacy has since gone.
In most parts of the world, there is no information that a simple googling cannot reveal about people. Someone can easily find out your home address, your income level, your phone number, your age, just by knowing your name. It is a new world and Facebook is just participating in this social redesign.